A monument to Art Deco sails into history, Fallingwater rises, and poise lamps and butterfly chairs take wing
This series looks back at iconic designs from each decade, starting in 1900. This installment covers transportation’s influence on 1930s styles, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and ’30s design objects still popular today.
If the story of a style icon could symbolize the arc of a decade, perhaps that’s what the SS Normandie’s does for the 1930s. The ocean liner embodied the can-do spirit of naval architect Vladimir Yourkevitch, who spent almost 20 years trying to convince people in Russia and France of his design’s superiority. It also exemplified the optimism of the French government, which subsidized its construction despite the U.S. stock market crash of 1929 and the looming worldwide Depression. The Normandie was innovative, big and fast, setting a speed record on its maiden voyage from France to New York in 1935. And until its tragic end, it was dazzling.